Intel’s in-house anthropologist, Genevieve Bell, is tasked with the mission of understanding how people use technology worldwide. She uses her findings to shape Intel’s product development, making it more relevant and user-friendly. Bell’s role involves extensive travel, studying people’s interaction with technology in their homes, workplaces, and public spaces. She’s observed the importance of context in technology use, noting differences in usage patterns between cultures and even between urban and rural areas within the same country.

Bell’s work has led to significant changes at Intel. The company now considers the cultural context of technology use in its product design, a shift from its previous technology-driven approach. This has resulted in more user-centric products, such as the Chinese-market Classmate PC, which was designed with a handle for easy transportation, reflecting the mobile lifestyle of its target users.

Bell’s influence extends beyond Intel. She’s a prominent speaker at technology conferences, sharing her insights on the intersection of culture and technology. Her work highlights the importance of social science in technology development, demonstrating that understanding people and their cultures can lead to better, more relevant products.

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